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The Book of the Law, the holy text that forms the basis of Thelema, was transmitted to Crowley by the entity known as Aiwass in Cairo, on three successive days during April 1904. Acting as a medium, Crowley recorded the communications on hotel notepads and later organized his automatic writing into a short, coherent document. Aiwass/Crowley presents The Book of the Law as an expression of three god-forms in three chapters: Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit. Also included is Crowley’s essay ‘Cocaine’ from the October 1917 issue of The International. His examination of cocaine and its role in society is an important document in any serious discussion of the history of recreational drugs and was considered by him to be one of his best efforts. *Page notes. *Illustrations.
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The Book of the Law
Published by Anubis Books, 2018.
The Book of the Law (Annotated) published 2018 by Anubis Books.
Original page annotations © Anubis Books.
All rights reserved.
The Book of the Law
Further Reading: The Writings of Aleister Crowley
*The book’s full title is Liber AL vel Legis, sub figura CCXX, as delivered by XCIII=418 to DCLXVI.
*Aleister Crowley claims that he was more of a medium than an author when he wrote the words which would eventually become known as ‘The Book of the Law.’ The holy text that forms the basis of Thelema was transmitted to Crowley by the entity known as Aiwass. Crowley was with his wife Rose in Cairo when the ‘transcription’ occurred, between noon and 1:00p.m. on three successive days during April 1904. With Rose’s help, Crowley recorded the communications on hotel stationery. Aiwass presents the Book as an expression of three god-forms of the three chapters, Nuit, Hadit, and Ra-Hoor-Khuit.
1. Had! The manifestation of Nuit.
2. The unveiling of the company of heaven.
3. Every man and every woman is a star.
4. Every number is infinite; there is no difference.
5. Help me, o warrior lord of Thebes, in my unveiling before the Children of men!
6. Be thou Hadit, my secret centre, my heart & my tongue!
7. Behold! it is revealed by Aiwass the minister of Hoor-paar-kraat.
8. The Khabs is in the Khu, not the Khu in the Khabs.
9. Worship then the Khabs, and behold my light shed over you!
10. Let my servants be few & secret: they shall rule the many & the known.
11. These are fools that men adore; both their Gods & their men are fools.
12. Come forth, o children, under the stars, & take your fill of love!
13. I am above you and in you. My ecstasy is in yours. My joy is to see your joy.
14. Above, the gemmed azure is The naked splendour of Nuit; She bends in ecstasy to kiss
The secret ardours of Hadit. The winged globe, the starry blue, Are mine, O Ankh-af-na-khonsu!
15. Now ye shall know that the chosen priest & apostle of infinite space is the prince-priest the Beast; and in his woman called the Scarlet Woman is all power given. They shall gather my children into their fold: they shall bring the glory of the stars into the hearts of men.
16. For he is ever a sun, and she a moon. But to him is the winged secret flame, and to her the stooping starlight.
17. But ye are not so chosen.
18. Burn upon their brows, o splendrous serpent!
19. O azure-lidded woman, bend upon them!
20. The key of the rituals is in the secret word which I have given unto him.
21. With the God & the Adorer I am nothing: they do not see me. They are as upon the earth; I am Heaven, and there is no other God than me, and my lord Hadit.
22. Now, therefore, I am known to ye by my name Nuit, and to him by a secret name which I will give him when at last he knoweth me. Since I am Infinite Space, and the Infinite Stars thereof, do ye also thus. Bind nothing! Let there be no difference made among you between any one thing & any other thing; for thereby there cometh hurt.
23. But whoso availeth in this, let him be the chief of all!
24. I am Nuit, and my word is six and fifty.
25. Divide, add, multiply, and understand.
26. Then saith the prophet and slave of the beauteous one: Who am I, and what shall be the sign? So she answered him, bending down, a lambent flame of blue, all-touching, all penetrant, her lovely hands upon the black earth, & her lithe body arched for love, and her soft feet not hurting the little flowers: Thou knowest! And the sign shall be my ecstasy, the consciousness of the continuity of existence, the omnipresence of my body.
27. Then the priest answered & said unto the Queen of Space, kissing her lovely brows, and the dew of her light bathing his whole body in a sweet-smelling perfume of sweat: O Nuit, continuous one of Heaven, let it be ever thus; that men speak not of Thee as One but as None; and let them speak not of thee at all, since thou art continuous!
28. None, breathed the light, faint & faery, of the stars, and two.
29. For I am divided for love's sake, for the chance of union.
30. This is the creation of the world, that the pain of division is as nothing, and the joy of dissolution all.
31. For these fools of men and their woes care not thou at all! They feel little; what is, is balanced by weak joys; but ye are my chosen ones.
32. Obey my prophet! follow out the ordeals of my knowledge! seek me only! Then the joys of my love will redeem ye from all pain. This is so: I swear it by the vault of my body; by my sacred heart and tongue; by all I can give, by all I desire of ye all.
33. Then the priest fell into a deep trance or swoon, & said unto the Queen of Heaven; Write unto us the ordeals; write unto us the rituals; write unto us the law!
34. But she said: the ordeals I write not: the rituals shall be half known and half concealed: the Law is for all.
35. This that thou writest is the threefold book of Law.
36. My scribe Ankh-af-na-khonsu, the priest of the princes, shall not in one letter change this book; but lest there be folly, he shall comment thereupon by the wisdom of Ra-Hoor-Khuit.
37. Also the mantras and spells; the obeah and the wanga; the work of the wand and the work of the sword; these he shall learn and teach.
38. He must teach; but he may make severe the ordeals.
39. The word of the Law is THELEMA.*
*An adherent of Thelema is a Thelemite. A non-Thelemite would classify Thelema as an ariosophy (literally ‘wisdom of the Aryans’), rather than a religion; that is, an ideology or system of beliefs of an esoteric bent.
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